Learning to like classical music
I'm having a new roommate moving in with me today. I'd like to slowly have him appreciate classical music so I can blast it from my speakers in the future without any complaints. How would you introduce classical music to a friend?
Do you only select certain repertoire that's easy to "understand"? For example, if you were to put classical music appreciation into a curriculum, how would you arrange the repertoire?
Choose something easy to understand and not overly long. Like the Händel-Halvorrsen Passacaglia for example. A fun recording. Maybe Perlman and Zukerman, they make fun together and eventually bring a breathtaking perfomance together.
Get yourself a good set of headphones. That way when your roommate wants to blast their rock-n-roll, you can demand that they use headphones too.
And closed ones ;)
Well, he's willing to listen to classical, so I'd like to make the most out of it. I just don't want him to be completely alienated and think it isn't for our generation. (It is!)
Don't blast it, either now or later -- not good for the ears. Just play it.
There are so many ways to introduce classical music to your new roommate. One way is to start with those pieces included in movies, e.g., http://www.cmuse.org/classical-music-moments-in-movies/ Google is your friend, indeed!
Recommend short pieces representative in some way of each era ( medieval to living composers ) to show him the diversity of the genre. You can never predict what a newbie will latch onto. When I first started, I aspired to one day play difficult works by Xenakis, Bartok, and Shostakovich, and only slowly, over a period of several years, came to enjoy Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven. I believe Jennifer Higdon talks about having a similar trajectory of tastes during her formative years in an interview. My mother claimed that all classical music put her to sleep until she fell in love with the Bartok viola concerto. Then you have those who are the complete opposite, those for whom Ligeti is an acquired taste. I would cast the net wide, emphasizing that there is probably something for everybody, and go from there.
Sung Han's thoughts are somewhat similar to mine. I was thinking that playing some videos that show classical musicians really getting into their playing may help. Specifically, the one I often use is to show and orchestra playing a popular piece such as the William Tell Overture or Beethoven's 9th. This is a good example, I think:
Blast Boulez, Ligeti, Stockhausen... ;)
I wouldn't want to enforce my musical preferences on a roommate. That's what headphones are for.
Something that is in your favor, is that Classical Music is conducive to a good studying environment.
Whatever you do - don't show him any Lindsay Sterling... please...
well camilla, I started off with Sterling, then Davis, then Hahn- one led to another, to another, and now Bach and Mendelssohn are my favorites and filling my ipods. And, on my to play list.
I'd say start him off with super romantic pieces/composers like Tchaikovsky and Dvorak. These types of composers are pretty easy to enjoy, and their music is pretty accessible to most people. Stay away from typical stuff like Eine Kleine, Beethoven 5 mvt 1, and other pieces that everyone can sing the tune to, but don't know the name of. I think that those types of pieces would be too boring and old.
Pick movies music, any, often people don't realize they're listening to classical music almost every time they watch a movie and they would tell you classical music sucks if you'd ask, but somehow don't perceive movie music as classical!
Lots of exposure to classical music, especially when your roommate is showing emotions, play the pieces that will likely echo such feelings.
I had a work colleague, who, in the earlier '90s, was regaling us with pop music on his radio. When Classic FM started broadcasting, he tried it, and took to it, so for a number of years we were serenaded with classical music instead (plus the inevitable adverts - though one or two were brilliant).
You might be re-inventing the wheel. There are lots of classical music albums already out there, many of them available on Spotify, that are designed for non-classical-music-lovers. Classical music for sleeping, for jogging, for playing to your fetus, etc. I remember receiving as a gift, a long time ago, from a student, the album "Mozart for Morning Coffee." Nice collection of short, peppy pieces.
Good call, Roger. Think of Waxman for example -
Thanks for all your suggestions. Yesterday, I started off with light chamber like Haydn and Schubert's Trout.
On a side note, I recently bumped into ClassicFM. They're really great! They are also active on social media. Love it or hate it, that's how one can reach out to the younger generations --- memes and emojis. Apple had their event yesterday, and a spotlight feature of their new phone were animated emojis, "Animojis". It's pretty ridiculous.
The problem with only playing music "easy to understand " is that it accustoms the listener to "easier" music, and when approached with even a bit more daring works, they may find them "harsh." So I would balance the "easy" works with a touch of these "harsher" pieces.
I think that not labeling the music when introducing it is important. There is nothing inherently harder about listening to Schnitke than listening to Mozart. When someone labels "hard" music that way because they simply don't like it, it sends the wrong message. I can't even pinpoint what it means to "understand" a piece of music. Is it synonymous with being able to experience pleasure from listening to it? Or is it the ability to apply the tools of music theory to analyze a piece? It it's the latter, then most people don't even understand nursery rhymes.
Timothy Jayne said, "Classical Music is conducive to a good studying environment". Probably true for most, but in my case it is, and always has been, a very big distraction when studying or equivalent. One notable occasion when I couldn't do anything except endure it was when I was in London sitting a professional Finals exam in a large upstairs hall to the unwanted accompaniment of the LSO rehearsing immediately below. Brahms 4 still brings back unwanted memories!
Well, Paganini's variations are "hummable", as they were popular "tunes" in his time, but even I,as one of his most ardent fans, cannot recommend I Palpiti or Moses variations for the very "beginner" (it would make for fun times, though; especially if the person is not aware of the violin's capabilities.)
I don't think there's a way to force someone to like anything. For most of us, it's really the prolonged exposure that makes us "like" classical music for the most part. And I don't mean 24/7 for a couple months, I mean over the course of years of studying the instrument and naturally coming to appreciate the things we do. For instance, I appreciate Piano and Violin Concerto more than I do an Oboe Concerto simply because I can really understand the technical finesse and the musical interpretation using those instruments since those two are my main instruments. So it's really about the interest that I (we?) have developed in learning to play an instrument.
Cassio finally said what I was thinking all along.
Of course we shouldn't shove music down people's throats, but there is nothing wrong with sharing it with them and having a conversation about it in a non-critical, non-forceful way. Assessing their comfort level, and knowing when to back off is key. God forbid someone turn me on to something new.
Yes but look at the OPs original wish: to acclimate his roommate so that he could blast it from his speakers without complaint. That seems rather self-serving to me. I'm only going by what Carl wrote.
Cassio and Scott, I completely agree with you. We love to share the joy with others, but only if we can do so without being selfish. How is this possible? A tough question.
Tell your roomie that if he doesn't pick up his dirty socks you're going to play Schoenberg at him.
Buy yourself a set of headphones.
Paul, that is crossing the line.
Or play Ginastera's Toccata:
I guess the post was worded carelessly. I didn't really mean blasting in terms of "blasting at a loud volume". We recently purchased a great entry-level sound system. We also agreed to have equal access to this.
The ultimate for me has got to be the Naxos Library which, as of today's date, has 132449 discs (over 2 million tracks) available for online browsing and streaming. If you pay an annual fee of $22 to IMSLP you not only get instantaneous downloads of sheet music (no long waits) but also access to the Naxos Library, which evidently has some sort of tie-in with IMSLP. Can't think of a better bargain.
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